Yay! Spring is officially upon us! My garden looks gorgeous with daffodils adding a splash of colour and psychologically the day feels longer when I can leave for work in the morning and arrive home in the evening in daylight rather than the dark, cold, grey of Winter. And, if we are to believe the good old weather forecasters, a summer heatwave is on the books (ooh yes please!).
I don’t know about you but there is certainly more of a spring in my step when I pull the bedroom curtains in the morning to be greeted by blue skies and the promise of sunshine. My “head” is in a good place to set me up for the day. “Positive mindset” is the buzz word of the moment and one I want to share with you based on the saying we use on our Your Excellency logo – Your Mind is Your Kingdom. You can hold certain beliefs to be true that will “put a spring in your step”.
When we set up our company 9 years ago, my husband, Malcolm, and I decided on the “Your Mind is Your Kingdom” saying based on the quotation from 16th Century English Poet Francis Quarles. We believe, like Quarles, that you can create a rich Kingdom in your own minds, in effect you can be the “King” or “Queen” of your own thinking. You have complete control and authority of your minds and you can rule your own kingdom as you see fit.
“Your Mind is Your Kingdom”
Understanding the power of your own thinking and “tapping” into your mind can be highly beneficial, indeed a necessity, in being successful in your everyday lives and achieving all those things you want or need to achieve. Holding the belief that “I am in charge of my mind and therefore my results” is crucial to your overall success as is the recognition that sometimes the way our mind operates can be unhelpful to us and in these cases, you do have control over your own mind to “reprogramme” it accordingly.
We all have “voices in our heads”, internal dialogues and conversations going on in our mind. Sometimes these voices can say some pretty unhelpful things – we can hold beliefs and thoughts that can limit or stop us from doing things. These are what we call “limiting beliefs”.
Henry Ford famously said “If you believe you can or believe you cannot do something, either way you are likely to be right”. It’s true – by saying you “can’t” do something you are already setting yourself up to not do it!
It’s important to notice when the voices in your mind are talking and then take control of these voices (as if we have a giant personal remote control in hand). We can pause the voices, we can turn down the volume and, more importantly, we can “reprogramme” these voices. We can reprogramme the limiting beliefs to something much more useful – we can presuppose something to be true and hold “enabling beliefs” that will enable us and help us to achieve things and to put that spring back into our step.
Enabling beliefs can be inspirational, powerful and motivational – they can help us “unlock” our thinking and be curious about a situation so we can get a different perspective. We can hold a belief to be true in certain situations to help us and others – to enable us to move forward and achieve our objectives, goals and outcomes.
We can experiment with our own thinking and this can give us flexibility in our feelings and behaviours. At times when we feel stuck or confused with various situations we are faced with we can hold an enabling belief.
The following are just a handful of enabling beliefs, two with corresponding narrative to their potential use and others for you to think about yourself – employing the strategy that Your Mind is Your Kingdom.
“If you always do what you’ve always done, you will always get what you’ve always got”
If something isn’t working and you are doing the “same old thing” over and over again you will get the same result. By doing something differently it might give you a different (and maybe better) result. By seizing an opportunity to try things in a different way you are opening up all sorts of possibilities – and if you don’t try things in a different way, how will you know what you are missing out on?
This is where knowledge sharing and networking comes into greatest effect. You can learn from others by sharing knowledge and best practice. In the interactive world of the world wide web, there are some amazing resources out there – all available at the touch of a button on your laptop. Resources (such as the Wearethecity website) can be inspirational sources of information and a catalyst for putting into practice this enabling belief.
“There is no such thing as failure, only feedback”
Many of you will have a formal appraisal process at your organisations. Recognise that feedback is crucial to your overall success and high quality feedback is given for your own career progression.
Those voices in our head may receive certain feedback with a response along the lines of “well, you failed there didn’t you!”. Sound familiar? This is not a particularly useful internal dialogue to have.
By holding the belief that “there is no such thing as failure, only feedback” will open up more opportunities and possibilities for you to learn from feedback. So, the project you’ve worked on may not have gone as well as you liked or hoped – so what can you learn from it? Knowing what you now know, in hindsight, what could you have done differently? If you were to run a similar project again, what could you do more of? Less of? What will you replicate? What will you do the same? What will you do differently?
And here are some other enabling beliefs for you to think about – remembering that Your Mind Is Your Kingdom.. use them to put that spring back in your step – and as ever, feel free to share your feedback and comments with me!
“Choice is better than no choice”
“If one person can do something then anyone can”
“The person with the most flexibility in thinking and behaviour has the most influence over any interaction”
“I am in charge of my mind and therefore my results”